An Afghan patient receives medical treatment at a hospital following an attack in Jalalabad on June 13, 2019. (Photo by AFP)
A bomber on foot has targeted a police vehicle in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar, killing at least nine people and injuring more than a dozen others, local officials say.
Atahullah Khogyani, spokesman for Nangarhar province’s governor, said the attacker set off his explosives as a police vehicle was passing from a residential area in Jalalabad city on Thursday.
“Four security personnel and five civilians have been killed and 12 more, including three security personnel, wounded,” media outlets quoted the spokesman as saying.
There was at least one child among the fatalities, while three others were among those wounded.
A statement released by the Daesh terrorist group’s Amaq news outlet claimed responsibility for the attack, without presenting any evidence.
Daesh has carried a string of bombings and attacks on government offices, schools, and aid groups in recent years in Nangarhar’s main city over the past few months.
In recent years, Daesh has established a foothold in eastern and northern Afghanistan. The terrorist group has mostly been populating Nangarhar, from where it has been carrying out attacks at major population centers across the country.
In April, a report suggested that the United States military had been allowing members of Daesh and their weapons into Afghanistan following the terror group’s defeats in Syria and Iraq.
Daesh’s rise in Afghanistan comes at a time when the Trump administration is engaged in peace talks with the Taliban militant group.
In recent months, the Taliban have stepped up attacks as part of their so-called spring offensive, rejecting calls by US chief negotiator Zalmay Khalilzad to lay down arms.
Several round of talks between the US and Taliban recently ended in the Qatari capital Doha, with no tangible progress.
The Taliban have said peace negotiations were stumbling over the fundamental question of when foreign forces would depart the war-ravaged country.
The administration of President Donald Trump is now negotiating with the Taliban in an attempt to discourage the group from attacking American troops.
The Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an end following the US invasion in 2001. However, 18 years on, Washington is seeking truce with the militants, who still control large swathes of land in the country.
US forces have remained bogged down in the country through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now Trump, which have seen terrorism flare and production of illegal drugs soar.